Surveillance technology has come a long way. Demand for higher resolution cameras and related advancements in CMOS sensor technology have led to some phenomenal security camera products in the industry today. This Dahua 4K Fisheye Dome IP Camera IPC-EBW81200 has an astounding 12MP (megapixels) resolution CMOS image sensor. It produces 4K resolution video that is 4000x3000 pixels, making it one of the highest resolution IP security cameras on the market today. This sleek dome IP camera has a fisheye lens, meant specifically to be mounted on a high ceiling overlooking an area of interest. The digital zoom capabilities are unmatched by any other camera as the 4K resolution video gives plenty of room to zoom in while still maintaining clarity, making it ideal for use as one camera overlooking a large area which would otherwise require multiple cameras.
We were thoroughly impressed with the build quality of this camera right out of the box. Holding it in your hand you can tell this is a solid piece of equipment. It does not feel plasticy or flimsy, quite the opposite in fact. It has solid metal construction that feels like it can withstand the harshest elements. It is in the typical dome fashion but one feature that sets it apart from other cameras of the dome style is that IR sensors are located more spread out on the camera’s surface and not located closely to the circumference of the lens which is the usual fashion.
There is a microSD slot located on the back of the camera under a removable flap for adding on board storage. It supports up to a 64GB regular microSD card. The pigtail that is attached has a audio-in and audio-out, a RJ45 network port, a female DC power jack, and a colored wire assortment for alarm inputs and outputs. With the included mounting bracket, this camera has several mounting possibilities to suit any needs. It can be mounted on the ceiling, wall, or a floor level location depending on your needs. From the camera’s web interface you can also change camera settings to reflect your chosen mounting style.
The physical dimensions are 74.1mm x 65.5mm x 135.4mm, and weighs only 1.3 lbs. It is very lightweight and can be mounted in most areas easily with the included bracket. It is disc shaped, and unlike other dome style cameras, it does not screw apart at the base; it is one solid piece.
You can find the complete list of specifications for this camera on the 4K IP Dome Camera product page. Below is a brief list of specifications that are of importance.
Resolution - 12MP (4000×3000 pixels), 8MP (2880×2880), 6MP (2880×2160), 3MP (2048×1536)
Lens – This camera uses a fixed 1.57mm lens that allows for electronic adjustments to the video output using the web interface on the camera. It has some PTZ like functionality within the software which comes in handy, and we discuss it later in this review.
Angle of View – The angle of view is a total of 360 degrees, with a noticeable fisheye effect.
Frame Rate – The frame rate varies from depending on the resolution selected, and you have the usual dual streams on the camera, i.e. mainstream and substream:
- For the mainstream : 12M(1-15fps)/3M (1 - 25/30fps)
- For the substream: D1/CIF(1 - 25/30fps)
Infrared Range – There are three IR LEDs on the camera that are barely noticeable at night. The combined IR range from them is 33ft in all 360 degrees.
Light Compensation – There are video image enhancement features that allow lighting improvements. These are Digital Wide Dynamic Range (DWDR), Backlight Compensation (BLC), and Highlight Compensation (HLC).
Power Supply – Like most Dahua PoE cameras, this can be powered with a PoE power source, or a 12V DC power adaptor. A 12V 1amp power adaptor is needed (not included) if you don't have a PoE switch or PoE injector.
Power Consumption - Less than 13 watts
Included with the camera is a mounting bracket and screws, a mounting diagram for precise placement, weatherproof cable grommet, and a CD guide. The camera itself has several features that make it stand out from other IP cameras. The IR illuminators are included as 3 separate IRs around the actual lens. These are spaced out to provide IR for the whole area it is monitoring. There is a built in microphone on board and even a built-in microSD card slot on the back for on board storage making this a very complete and high tech IP camera.
4K Ultra HD Image Samples
This IP dome camera is 4K Ultra HD resolution. 4K video is one of the highest resolutions available for security cameras on the market today. It is unheard of in publically available camera products, and only in mid 2015 is the security industry starting to see 4K products being produced for customers other than government entities. We took some still snapshots and video samples to demonstrate the amazing quality of the IPC-EBW81200.
Indoor Image Samples
Below are some examples of the 4K fisheye camera in action. You will see in these snapshots that this camera has close to a 360 degree angle of view. The image produced is with black corners and an oval in the center containing video captured by the image sensor. If you’ve never seen video produced by a 360 degree security camera, this view may seem odd but rest assured it is perfectly normal. You can see a wide area in the peripheral view of the lens so this camera can easily cover a full room depending on how high it is mounted. Here’s an example of the camera in our lobby.From the camera’s mounted position to our cutout prop is about 30ft. You can see how it seems farther with the lens completely zoomed out. The fisheye lens is a very particular type of lens. If mounted overhead on a ceiling you will get a very wide angle view. Here’s an example of the fisheye view when digitally zoomed in, illustrating the resolution depth of 4K video. A 1080P IP camera or 3MP IP camera cannot compare at all to this amount of clarity. Be sure to also read our review of the 4K IP Camera Bullet with 3.6mm lens to better understand the power of 4K when compared to a 1080P camera with a standard 80 degree lens.
Outdoor Image Samples
Outside you can see much further than most camera styles will allow. The fisheye style lens and actual mounting of the camera will enable you to get a very wide angle view, with a lot of peripheral coverage. In a wide open area you can really see the full zoom capability.
As you can see, the more open the area the more you can see in the peripherals of the lens, forming a much wider and open image. Here’s how it would look in an open area outside.
When we digitally zoom, you can really see the zoom fleshed out to an extreme. The field of view covered by this camera is unmatched by any other camera we have seen. It is great for covering a substantial area with a single camera. For example, we are approached by many homeowners looking for a single camera capable of monitoring the whole front yard of the house, while being discrete or aesthetically pleasing. We recommend this camera as perfect for such applications.
4K Night Vision Image Sample
4K Security Camera Video Sample
The video sample for this camera is available on the 4K Fisheye 360 Degree Camera page.
It can record a max of 15fps at 12MP (4000 x 3000 pixels), or 30 fps at 3MP (2048 x 1535 pixels). Of course this means an NVR with very high resolution capability must be used in conjunction with this. At 15 frames per second at 4K resolution, the video stream is about 11 mbps. What this means is that the NVR must be able to support not only 4K resolution, but also a 11mbps bit rate for recording. We recommend our 64 channel 4K Capable NVR for use with this camera.
The camera has several different views that can be altered at the click of a mouse to suit the way the camera is mounted. Depending on where you actually mount it (ceiling, wall, or ground), it has a panoramic view for each installation mode. Meaning that however you decide you need to mount the camera, you will not be sacrificing its vast visual coverage.
When accessing this camera through its IP address using a web browser, you are able to use the fisheye lens in some very unique and useful ways. Use the web interface, you can access the fisheye menu in the bottom left corner to bring up the different display mode options. From there, you can access your set “steps” which relate to different positions the lens will be focused on at one time. The lens is very flexible and covers a wide range of area, so these different steps enable you to view many different zones in the coverage area simultaneously.
The different view choices are:
- The original 360 degree fisheye view
- A panoramic wall to wall 180 degree view
- A double panoramic that is split from front to back
- 1+3 view which is (1) 360 degree fisheye view and (3) regular views in 4 separate screens
- 1R which is 1 regular view with PTZ like control
- 4R which is 4 split views with ability to control each view separately with PTZ function
This multiview functionality is very useful to monitor a wide area that the fisheye lens can cover. This one camera could end up replacing several in one area!
Compatible 4K NVR
This 4K ultra HD camera needs a specialized NVR in order to properly record it. There are new 4K NVRs on the market to support this new high resolution. These are very specialized and high tech NVR models. We recommend our 64 channel 4K Capable NVR for use with this camera. The network connections would all be standard procedure as any other IP device, and you record and playback video in the same way as other Dahua IP cameras. It is worth noting however that you might need a 4K resolution computer monitor or TV to be used in conjunction with this camera to get the most out of the video.
Another way to use this camera is with the PC software SmartPSS. We recommend to use this software with all of our cameras as it is very well supported and specifically designed to be used in conjunction with Dahua cameras and recorders. Syncing your NVR with SmartPSS enables you to view your entire system remotely. You can playback all of your data and switch between camera views.
Finally for control of just a single camera, you can also access it remotely by just typing its IP address into your browser. This brings up a web interface that enables for in depth PTZ like control of the camera that is not available elsewhere. This is for when you want control over one specific camera and not your whole system. At the time of this writing, these PTZ like functions are not available in SmartPSS.
All things considered, this is an excellent camera in its own right in terms of the quality of the build and especially the features and performance. It may come with a high price tag but considering the capabilities of this camera and the incredible clarity, I feel it is worth it. This camera has the potential to replace several cameras in one area, and that alone makes this camera worth the consideration. The fish eye lens and spread out IR are hard features to find in an IP camera, and the 4k resolution is unmatched in today’s market. Look over our review to decide if this camera is right for you.